Hockey Day in Minnesota just got a whole less homegrown.
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has been suspended by the NHL for 2-games after he elbowed Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie in the jaw on Tuesday. Downie left the game and did not return.
To the Department of Player Safety video!
Pretty easy call right there. There was no reason for Suter to throw the chicken wing, even if it is Steve Downie. (Relax Penguins fans, that called “a joke.”) Suter felt bad about the play and sent an apology to Downie through Sidney Crosby.
This is Suter’s first brush with The Man, hence the light suspension. He’ll miss games against Buffalo and Arizona, the latter of which is a home game celebrating Hockey Day in Minnesota.
Without Suter in the lineup, life doesn’t get any easier for Wild coach, Mike Yeo. At least Yeo has kept his sense of humor intact. From Mike Russo of the Star Tribune:
“I only looked at it once,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We have the hearing this evening. But what I saw when I looked at it initially is that he’s not looking at the player at all. First off if you know the player, you know that’s not his intention at all. He’s not in any way a dirty player. It’s hard for you to quote this, but he’s looking at the player and I think he’s, …”
Humorously, Yeo then juts out his right elbow like a chicken wing and accidentally nailed NHL.com reporter Joe Yerdon’s recorder. Yeo apologized, then said with a laugh, “See how easily it happens?”
Yeo continued, “I think he puts his elbow up just to box the guy out and we’ve had other things that have been our other focus this morning, but that was my initial thought.”
No word if Yeo is subject to supplemental discipline for his behavior towards Joe Yerdon in the press scrum.